Deputy Secretary Jonathan Barry
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

photo of DWD Deputy Secretary Jonathan Barry

As Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), Jonathan Barry serves as chief operating officer, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the state workforce agency. He oversees the agency’s six divisions, which encompass approximately 1,600 employees.

Deputy Secretary Barry was appointed by Secretary Reggie Newson on November 15, 2011, and he joined the DWD leadership team on November 21, 2011. He fills a vacancy that was created on October 24, 2011, when Governor Scott Walker appointed then Deputy Secretary Newson to lead the department as Secretary.

Deputy Secretary Barry brings to the department years of experience as a farmer, business executive, non-profit director, public sector manager, and elected official. Prior to his DWD appointment, he was Administrator of the Division of Enforcement at the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. For the past 10 years, he has worked as Development Director of Dane County’s largest youth employment and training organization, Operation Fresh Start, Inc. During this time, he helped to greatly expand Wisconsin Fresh Start, a statewide network of non-profit programs centered on assisting at-risk youth to learn basic employment skills, construction skills and to complete educational credentials.

In his public service, Deputy Secretary Barry served as the elected Dane County Executive from 1981-87, and as a State Representative elected in 1976, 1978 and 1980. He was an elected Dane County Supervisor in 1973 and 1975. Additionally, he has served as a member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, the Wisconsin Technical System Board and on various gubernatorial commissions.

Deputy Secretary Barry has operated an 85-acre grass-fed beef and produce farm near Mt. Horeb since 1970. In 1973, he was a creator, organizer and first manager of the Dane County Farmers’ Market on the Square in Madison. He has been President of several businesses including the WTG Corp., Gammex-RMI and the W.T. Rogers Co. He is a part-owner of Tyrol Basin Co.

Deputy Secretary Barry earned a Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Madison in 1968.